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Full text of "Matchsafes in the collection of the Cooper-Hewitt Museum, the Smithsonian Institution's National Museum of Design"

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Matchsafes 




in the Collection 
of the 

Cooper-Hewitt 
Museum 




The Smithsonian 
Institution's 
National Museum 
of Design 



Matchsafes 



W36CGX 
C3 

cvmpa 



in the Collection 
of the 

Cooper-Hewitt 

Museum 




The Smithsonian 
Institution's 
National Museum 
of Design 



© 1 98 1 by the Smithsonian Institution 

All rights reserved 

Library of Congress Catalog No. 81-65297 

Catalogue design by Heidi Humphrey 
Typesetting by OdAl Typographers, Inc. 
Printing by Eastern Press, Inc. 





Foreword 



Protective containers for car- 
rying matches, or matchsafes 
as they were called, enjoyed 
immense popularity for 
seventy-five years before los- 
ing favor to matchhooks and 
lighters. Seldom do com- 
monplace products with so 
specific a purpose show as 
much imagination and diver- 
sity in the use of materials, 
technique, and decoration. 



A rare and extraordinary col- 
lection of matchsafes is 
housed in the Cooper-Hewitt 
Museum. It contains over 
4,200 cases exquisitely exe- 
cuted in every conceivable 
medium. With beauty, skill, 
charm, and sometimes 
humor, they evoke in minia- 
ture the spirit of an entire age. 



The matchsafes in the 
Cooper-Hewitt were lovingly 
assembled by Carol B. Brener 
and Stephen W. Brener over a 
period of fifteen years. We are 
deeply indebted to them for 
entrusting this delightful col- 
lection to our care. In addi- 
tion, we are grateful to Mr. 
Brener for enabling us to share 
it with you by making this 
publication possible. 



Lisa Taylc 
Director 



. S.M. & Co., London. England; 
1891-92 
Silver, enamel 



2. Probably England; about 1900 
Brass 




S.B.S. Ltd., Birmingham, England; 

1939-4° 

Silver, enamel 



4. Germany; late 19th century 
Silver, enamel 



5. Europe; about 1900 
Silver, basse taille and painted enamel 
Imported and sold by 1 l.C. ', H"- i- . . 
Birmingham, England, 1901-02 



6. Probably Europe; c. 1900 
Silver-plated brass 

7 Japan; late 19th century 
Iron, gold zogan (inlay) 





Instantaneous flame produced 
at will was a 19th-century in- 
vention, and its first manifes- 
tation was the friction match. 
Although friction had been 
producing fire for thousands of 
years, starting a fire was never 
really easy before the match 
came into general use. The 
most primitive method of 
fire-making, rubbing a stick 
through a groove, was only 
possible under certain condi- 
tions and was extremely slow. 
Even the later method, using 
flint and steel with a tinder 
box containing combustible 
material, was tedious and dif- 
ficult unless the equipment 
was dry and clean. In the late 
1 8th century, experimentation 
led to a primitive form of 



match, a wooden splint with a 
tip soaked in sulfur which ig- 
nited when dipped into a bot- 
tle of phosphoric acid. This 
method of starting a fire was 
awkward, required several 
pieces of equipment, and in- 
volved potentially dangerous 
toxic chemicals. 




These unsatisfactory methods 
meant that, on the whole, 
once a fire was lighted, it was 
kept alive at all costs. There 
was a very good reason for 
banking a fire at night to be 
coaxed into flame in the 
morning and for "borrowing a 
light" from a neighbor. The 
household fire was not casu- 
ally extinguished. The inven- 
tion of the friction match, 
which meant that a fire could 
be started quickly when 
needed, had a profound effect 
on the daily routine of life. 



John Walker, a middle-aged 
druggist living in Stockton- 
on-Tees, England in the early 
19th century, was the inventor 
of the first successful match, a 
wooden splint coated with sul- 
fur and tipped with a mixture 
of sulfide of antimony, chlo- 
rate of potash, and gum. At 
first Walker referred to his in- 
vention as "sulphurata hyper- 
oxygenata friction," but that 
name, understandably, did 
not catch on, so he began to 
call the match a "friction 
light." The matches were of- 
fered to the public in a cylin- 
drical tin box with a folded 



. Europe; early ;oth century 
Celluloid, hakelite, brass 



9. J.D. and W?, Chester, England; 
1899-1900 
Silver, enamel 



10. Probably Eastern Europe; late 19th 
century 
Silver filigree 



J.B., London, England; 1891-92 
Silver 







piece of sandpaper that served 
as a striking surface. They sold 
for the rather stiff price of one 
shilling twopence , the shilling 
for the matches, twopence for 
"the tin case. "The date of the 
first sale of these matches is 
known — April 7, 1827. Walker 
apparently failed to make 
much money from his great 
invention. The same product 
was marketed much more suc- 
cessfully after 1829 by Samuel 
Jones under the catchy name 
"lucifer, " which has survived 
in Britain right up to the pres- 
ent. His shop, appropriately 
called "The Light House," was 
located in the Strand, Lon- 
don. As is usual in the history 
of inventions, one led to 
another rather quickly. In 183 1 



a phosphorus match was in- 
vented in France by Charles 
Sauria, and in 1836 J. D. Phil- 
lips was selling a similar match 
in the United States. Wax 
matches, called "vestas, "were 
first produced around 1840, tak- 
ing their name from the 
Roman goddess in whose 
shrines perpetual fire burned. 
In 1855 the safety match was 
invented by J.D. Lundstrom 
of Sweden. The "strike any- 
where" type of match was 
patented in 1888 by Frederick 
W. Farnham. 



Early matches, although an 
enormous improvement in fire 
making, were still somewhat 
perilous to carry; they ignited 
when they were accidently 
knocked or heated. They had 
to be kept in a secure con- 
tainer which became known 
as a "matchsafe." Matchsafes 
were made to carry on one's 
person, usually in a pocket or 
on a watch chain, or to sit on a 
table. The history of these 
containers, which were pro- 
duced in enormous numbers 
over a 7j-year period, illus- 
trates many phases of the de- 
sign and decoration of a prac- 
tical object in the second half 
of the 19th century and the 
first quarter of the 20th. The 
Brener Collection, considered 



the largest ever assembled, 
contains well over 4,000 dif- 
ferent matchsafes, mostly of 
the pocket type, and makes 
possible an intriguing study 
into the decorative design of 
the last century. 




12. England; late 19th century 
Wood mosaic on wood 
"Tunbridge Wells ware" 



Probably France; late 19th century 14. S.M., London, England; 1881 

Silver-gilt, enamel Silver 

Made for Bowler and Jones, 
71 Piccadilly 



15. W.N., Birmingham, England; 
1891-92 

Silver 

16. S.M. 6k Co., Chester, England; 

Silver 

Inscribed "Strike boldly, then your 

light will shine clear" 



# € 



._ j 



• • 



• 






17 T.J., London, England; 1881-8J 
Silver, enamel 

tS. G.W. <Sl Sons, Birmingham, England; 

Silver, enamel 



19. Unmarked, probably England; late 
19th century 
Celluloid, brass 

!o. Gorham Corp., United States; tUtn- |«g Q -^. 
Silver, enamel 



. H.T.B., Birmingham, England; 
1K91-9! 
Silver, cupper 

. H.B.S., London. England; 19)°-*' 
Silver, enamel 
















It appears that few, if any, 
matchsafes were made until 
about 1850 — and even then 
manufacture developed rather 
slowly — but by the 1870s 
numerous patents began to be 
taken out for new forms. The 
book match, now ubiquitous, 
was invented in 1892 by John 
Pusey, but was not quickly ac- 
cepted into the hearts and 
pockets of smokers. Until 
the invention of the pocket 
gasoline lighter around 1918, 
pocket matchsafes, both 
utilitarian and decorative, 
were immensely popular 
objects. 



Certain features are common 
to matchsafes. The match 
must be struck against a rough 
surface, so one of the sides, an 
interior surface , or the base of 
the container is serrated and 
referred to as "the striker." 
The lids of matchsafes Usually 
have an interior spring and 
open with a smart — and 
attractive — snap. A strong 
spring was necessary to keep 
the safe from falling open in 
the pocket. The interiors of 
silver boxes are treated in 
some way, often with gilding, 
to prevent the chemicals on 
match tips from corroding the 
silver. In its simplest form, the 
matchsafe is a rectangular 
box, between one and a half 
and three inches long, with a 



hinged lid. But the form is 
rarely simple. Victorian and 
Edwardian ingenuity was 
exercised to the limit in con- 
structing matchsafes. Many 
have a small socket , for exam- 
ple, in which a match can be 
inserted while it burns. This 
was useful with sealing wax or 
for lighting candles or lamps. 
Matchsafes even exist in 
which an entire candle can be 
inserted. There is sometimes a 
separate compartment for 
used matches. 



23. H.C.F., London, England; 1901-06 
Silver, enamel 

24. Probably England; about 1895 
Silver, enamel 
Imported by Carl Hess, Vienna 



R.B.S., Birmingham, England; 

1898-99 

Silver, enamel 



26. J.C. &Sons, Birmingham, England; 27. Germany; early 20th century 
190J-06 Gilded base metal, enamel 

Silver, enamel Stamped: "Ge schiitzt" 








The development of the de- 
sign of matchsafes shows them 
to have begun as quite simple 
boxes, gradually becoming 
more elaborate both in con- 
struction and decoration. 
High Victorian matchsafes 
tend to be heavy and ornate. 
Later in the century there 
came on the market match- 
safes incorporating knives, 
pencils, coin holders, and 
other useful objects. The early 
20th-century matchsafes were 
simpler again in design, but 
more elegant, as though the 
usefulness had been super- 
seded by the decorative qual- 
ity. Those made after the First 
World War, especially those of 
Art Deco designs from the 
1930s, were often restrained in 



design but luxurious in feel 
and appearance. 




28. Probably France; late 19th century 
Tortoiseshell or hom, gold pique 
work 

29. Possibly Australia or for the Austra- 
lian market; late 19th century 
Chestnut, silver-gilt 



Probably Italy; about 1900 
Gilded metal filigree 

Possibly Hungary; early 20th < 
Silver, niello 



32. Europe; early 20th century 
Agate, nickel-plated metal 



)j. Possibly United States; early 
20th century 
Agate, aventurine. gilded metal 

j4- Cartier, Paris and London ; early 20th 
century 
Gold, sapphire 



HELP 
YOURSELF 





Matchsafes with complicated 
or trick devices for opening 
them are frequently found. 
A number have smug sayings 
inscribed on the lids, such as 
one labelled "Help Yourself 
that is impossible to open 
without knowing the combi- 
nation. Another trick match- 
safe, also serving as an adver- 
tisement, lures the unsuspect- 
ing person with the inscrip- 
tion "Open this box and I'll 
stand you a Johnnie Walker." 



The imagination of the 
designers and manufacturers 
of matchsafes was exuberant 
and unflagging. In addition to 
the usual rectangular box 
form, matchsafes were pro- 
duced in the form of birds and 
animals such as sheep, dol- 
phins, eagles, owls, turtles, 
rabbits, elephants, horses, 
and monkeys, and even the 
less attractive fauna such as 
frogs, rats, and snakes. There 
are matchsafes in the form of 
skulls, mummies, crowns, in- 
sects, the devil's head, shells, 
musical instruments, books, 
barrels, shoes (a very popular 
form, especially in Russia), 
horseshoes, breeches, coffins, 
Punch's head, and dominoes 
in ivory or sterling silver. All 



of these forms are represented 
in the Brener Collection by 
one or more examples. 





35. J.B. and L.W. , London, England; 



36. United States; eatly 20th century 
Nickel-plated brass 



37. Japan; late 19th century 
Patinated copper, gilding 

38. Europe; late i9th-early 20th century 
Brass, glass 

39. Chinese, for the western market; late 
19th century 

Silver 

Stamped: "Wang Hing" 




4o. Probably England; c. 1880 
Silver-plated brass 

4.1. Japan; late 19th century 
Copper, gilding 



42. England or United States; late 44. Japan; late 19th century 4? Japan; late 19th century 

19th century Brass Brass 

Nickel-plated brass, hide, glass 

46. England; late 19th century 

4). Probably England; early 20th century Brass, enamel 

Brass, pink rhinestones 





A large category, extending 
from the earliest matchsafes to 
the latest, are in the form of 
containers of various sorts. 
Some of the earliest Victorian 
matchsafes were miniature 
leather-covered dispatch 
boxes. Suitcases were made in 
ivory, bone, and wood. 
Others were wrapped mailing 
packages, pouches, and pock- 
etbooks, the last form being 
especially common. Dance 
cards had a list of dances 
sketched on the ivory cover of 
the matchsafe and came com- 
plete with pencil for filling in 
the card. An example in the 
Brener Collection is dated 
March 17, 1894. 




S2L3KZggS» 





K-siP* 







47. Probably United States; late 19th 
century 
Bone, wood 
Patented October 14, 1890 



48. United States; late 19th century 50. United States; about 1900 ji. United States; about 1890 
Silver Silver Silver, enamel 

Addressed to: "Mr. Fred K. Smyth, 

49 Pairpoint Manufacturing Co. , New 15 West 46th Street" 
Bedford, Massachusetts; late 19th cen- 
tury 52. G.U., Birmingham, England; 1877-78 
Silver-plated white metal Silver 






As for the materials in which 
matchsafes were made, they 
include silver, gold, brass, 
nickel, tin, copper, wood, 
lacquer, leather, ivory, cork, 
glass, hardstones, and tor- 
toiseshell as well as horn, 
bone, pewter, aluminum, 
papier-mache, and even nuts. 



Although matches and 
matchsafes were of general 
utility, their primary service at 
the time when most were pro- 
duced was to smokers, espe- 
cially when the smoker was 
outdoors. (Indoors, there were 
flames from candles, lamps, 
and fireplaces for lighting 
pipes and cigars.) Smoking 
was frowned on by various 
segments in Victorian society 
beginning at the top with the 
Queen herself, who was hor- 
rified by the practice. It was 
with the greatest difficulty 
that, late in her reign, she was 
persuaded to set aside a "smok- 
ing room" for male members 
of her own family. Her exam- 
ple was followed in many 
households; for a long time 



smoking was a habit largely 
indulged in outside 
the house. 




Smoking became more wide- 
spread in the latter years of 
Victoria's reign, and by the 
time her son, the Prince of 
Wales and an inveterate 
smoker, came to the throne as 
King Edward VII in 1901, the 
smoking of cigars and ciga- 
rettes was very widespread in- 
deed. As far as women were 
concerned, however, as late as 
1909 the Italian composer Er- 
manno Wolf-Ferrari could 
write a successful opera called 
/I Segretodx Susanna in which 
the secret is not infidelity but 
the fact that Susanna smokes 
cigarettes and has to conceal 
her smoking from her 
husband. 



Europe; late 19th century 

Brass, pierced overlay simulating 

filigree 



Probably France; late 19th century 
Horn, gold pique work 



c(. Probably England; late 19th century 57- Possibly United State. carl\ 

Wood 20th century 

Gold, gold ore, green onyx, quart: 
56. H.S. and Co., probably England; late 

19th century 

Silver, gold, enamel 





VN 




Most matchsafes of the 19th 
century, it is safe to say, were 
intended for male users. A 
number of the smaller match- 
safes have rings for attaching 
them to watch chains. Some- 
times they were carried in vest 
pockets. The heaviness of 
many pocket matchsafes is a 
commentary on the substan- 
tial fabrics then used for men's 



Some matchsafes were made 
with devices such as wind- 
screens for use outdoors. 
Smoking, especially while on 
shooting or other outdoor 
sporting expeditions, was very 
much the habit among men of 
the leisure classes. The Brener 
Collection contains many 
matchsafes whose design is in- 
spired by sport, such as silver 
matchsafes in the form of deer 
hooves or a beaver's foot with 
the fur intact. A combination 
matchsafe and cigarette box 
that is particularly attractive is 
a presentation box dated 1873 
from Prince Philip of Coburg 
to a Captain Plowden en- 
graved as "a friendly souvenir 
of a tiger expedition." 




58. A.V, probably Hungary; 
20th century 
Silver, enamel 



59. Europe; late 19th century 

Silver-plated white metal, enamel 



60. Europe; late 19th century 
Nickel-plated metal, enamel 



61. A. K. .Austria-Hungary; about 1893 
Silver, niello 



Gift of Prince Philip of Saxe-Coburg-Gotha to 
Captain Plowden as a souvenir of a tiger hunt 






The arms, mottoes, and de- 
vices of numerous fraternal 
organizations are to be found 
on a number ot matchsafes. In 
the Brener Collection, the or- 
ders and lodges represented 
include the Independent 
Order of the Free Sons of Is- 
rael, the Improved Order of 
Red Men, Modern Woodmen 
of America, the Freemasons, 
the Knights of Pythias, and 
the Fraternal Order of Eagles, 
all at that time male organiza- 
tions. 



The essentially masculine 
character of Victorian and 
Edwardian matchsafes is 
amply demonstrated by the 
number that contain cigar 
cutters, compasses, dice, 
whistles, and whiskey flasks. 
One in the collection is fitted 
onto a wristwatch band. This 
masculine orientation is also 
borne out in a number of 
"naughty" matchsafes featur- 
ing scantily-clad women in 
the style of "French post- 
cards," and a few that are 
crudely pornographic. A 
whole series of matchsafes de- 
pict the voluptuous heroine of 
Jules Massenet's 1897 opera 
Sapho, which was an interna- 
tional success. 




h2 Japan; late 19th century 
Patinated copper 



United States; late 19th century' b+. G.S. and F.S., London, England; 

Gold, gold ore 1885-86 

Inscribed: "Bro. S. Hoffheimer, from Silver, enamel 

members of Pioneer Lodge no. 87 

I.O.F.S.ofl. ( Independent Otder of 65. France; about 1900 

the Free Sons of Israel) Instituted Enamel, brass 

April 18-1878" 



. Probably France; late 19th century 
Silver-plated base metal, enamel 




NO MATCH 

IN THE WORLD 
FOR 

Sutton's 
seeds 



-3 




1 • 




Cawston Ostrich Farm 




The heyday of the matchsafe 
was an aggressively commer- 
cial age, and it was not long 
before manufacturers found 
that matchsafes, decorated 
with a printed or engraved 
mercantile message or even 
made to resemble a product, 
were an excellent way to keep 
their name before the public. 
Some boxes were made with a 
glass or celluloid window in 
which advertising cards or 
photographs could be inserted 
with the manufacturer's 
message. 



"Recommend and always use 
Dr. Lovelace's Family Soap" is 
a typical simple slogan to be 
found on a matchsafe. Others 
told a longer story. One 
matchsafe in the Brener Col- 
lection reads, for example, 
"Charles Baker and Co. 
Stores match and pin box . . . 
Gentlemen and Boys superior 
clothing, hosiery, shirts, hats, 
boots etc. 2{ per cent under 
usual London prices to keep 
pace with the Civil Service 
Stores. "The firm, which was 
in High Holborn, London, 
sold their matchsafe for two- 
pence. The American firm of 
Wolf, Sayer, and Heller at 37 
Pearl Street, New York City 
advertised their sausage cas- 
ings, imported potato flour, 



and butcher supplies on a 
matchsafe. The Sharpies 
Cream Separator Company 
showed their works, "the 
largest in the world," at Canal 
and Washington Streets in 
Chicago, and boasted that 
their Tubular Cream 
Separator was "Different from 
the Others." Some insurance 
companies capitalized on 
word play, as in "I am safe be- 
cause insured by . . ." used by 
the Fireman's Fund Insurance 
Company for their Christmas 
greetings in 191c. A seed com- 
pany asserted that "Our seeds 
are matchless." 



67- England; about 1900 

Nickel-plated metal, enamel 
Made for Colman's Mustard 

68. United States; early 20th century 
Bakelite 

Made for Klump's Shoes, Watertown, 
New York 
16 



69 Made in the U.S.A. for The 



70. United States; late 19th century 71. The Whitehead and Hoag Co., 



Whitehead and Hoag Co., London, Nickel-plated brass, printed celluloid Newark, New Jersey; early 20th 



England; late i9th-early 20th century 

Nickel-plated metal, printed 

celluloid 

Made for Sutton's Seeds 



Made for S.J. Moreland & Sons, 
Gloucester, Massachusetts 



century 

Nickel-plated brass, printed celluloid 
Made for "Cawston Ostrich Farm, 
South Pasadena, California" 




Mak k 

assEsssssxrs. 




"Wxth Compliments of 

Jk Peal c TricK» Cater 
Supply Compeoxy LV 




V_ 





Bowler Brothers 




ALE 



BOTTLED AT THE BREWERY 

Worcester Mass 



V_ 



" 



72 Made in the U.S.A. tor The 



74. England; late i9th-early 20th century ib. W.J.D., Birmingham, England; 77 The Whitehead and Hoag Co., 



Whitehead and Hoag Co., London, 
England; late i9th-early 20th century 



Nickel-plated metal, printed 

celluloid 

Made for The Peat Moss Litter Supply 
The Whitehead and Hoag Co., Company Ltd. 

Newark, New Jersey; ahout u»afe- / ^CS 
Nickel-plated metal, printed 
celluloid 

Made for Whi t ehal l Po rtl and Cmhe nt 
Co ., Ccmenton, Pennsylvania — 



M.&W. , Sheffield, England; i9i)-i4 
Silver, hlue enamel 
Made for Wormald's Locks, "A Match 
For All" 



1894-95 Newark, New Jersey; earlv 

Silver (engraved), enamel joth century- 

Made tor Otto Monsted's Margarines Nickel-plated metal, printed 
celluloid 

Made tor Bowler Brothers Limited 
hrewerv. Worcester, Massachusetts 





^5 



M.MES HENRY MITCH1MEK 

'//'„_/.,/ .#,„„/ v,„./„. r /./ 



Some of the advertising 
matchsafes are quite elegant. 
The Brener Collection con- 
tains a number of safes in the 
form of miniature silver cigar 
boxes advertising such brands 
as the "Flor de Henry" and 



"The Henry Clay." Manufac- 
turers used matchsafes as a 
vehicle for advertisements 
as well as for promotional 
contests. 




The dignified Scribner's 
Magazine had a matchsafe 
showing a typical cover, and 
even The Scientific American 
distributed a matchsafe in the 
form of the magazine in a mail- 
ing wrapper completely ad- 
dressed to a subscriber. 

Hunter's Baltimore Rye dis- 
tributed a matchsafe depicting 
a jumping horse promising 
that its whiskey is "First Over 
the Bars." Perhaps the most 
amusing of the advertising 
safes are those put out by the 
famous British bakers Huntley 
& Palmer in the form of a 
silver biscuit. 



SCRIBNERS 
MAGAZINE 



PUBLISHED MONTHLY 
WW ILUJSTttXTICNS 



CHMUR* 5CMV.-NW «3HS HBW WatK' 



Unmarked, probably United States; 

late 19th century 

Silver, enamel 

Made for "Flor De Henry Clay, Habana" 



80. Diffany and Co., Newark, New 
Jersey; about 1900 
Silver-plated base metal 
Made for "El Telegrafo, Key West, factory #60 



79. Unmarked, probably United States; late 19th century 
Silver, enamel 
Made for "Flor De Henry Clay, Habana" 



London, England; 1903-04 

Silver, enamel 

Made for "James Henry Mitchener, 

F.R.A.S." 

8!.Gorham Manufacturing Co., Provi- 
dence, Rhode Island, about [887 
Silver, printed ceramic 



Blr SURE 

AND SEE THAT THIS 
BLUE 

Un-on - abl-l 

N THE BOX 

PUB BASING ACIBAB 



m . vj 




..l.lrtDBREWtRYWQBKH^ 




The age was also the time 
when labor began to organize, 
and some of the most 
interesting — and relatively 
rare — matchsafes in the Bre- 
ner Collection are those dis- 
tributed by unions to carry 
various messages to the pub- 
lic. A matchsafe dated 1880 is 
marked "Smoke only union 
made cigars" and was distri- 
buted by the Cigar Maker's In- 
ternational Union of America. 
Another, with a more start- 
ling message, reads "Before 
purchasing a cigar, be sure and 
see that this blue union label is 
on the box. It represents living 
wages and not child labor." 
The United Hatters of North 
America reminded smokers in 
1901 "Buy no hat without this 



label," and a late box, dating 
from about 1919, reads "Inter- 
national Union of the United 
Brewery Workmen of Ame- 
rica ask your support against 
Prohibition as it is detri- 
mental to all." 



SMOKE ONLY UNION MADE 
CIGARS 



LOOK FOR THIS BLUE LABEL 
ON EVERY BOX 



Great international exhibi- 
tions were very much typical 
of the same period, and 
matchsafes showing views of 
fair grounds and exhibition 
halls were in wide circulation. 
The Brener Collection con- 
tains a wide selection of these 
colorful matchsafes, including 
souvenirs of the World's Co- 
lumbian Exposition of 1892-93, 
the Pan-American Exposition 
at Buffalo of 1901 (particularly 
well represented), and the 
Franco-British Exhibition of 
1908. Several matchsafes from 
the Louisiana Purchase Expo- 
sition in St. Louis, 1904, dis- 
play the portraits of Napoleon 
and Jefferson , who arranged 
the Purchase. 



8j. The Whitehead and Hoag Co., 
Newark, New Jersey; early 20th 
century 

Nickel-plated brass, printed celluloid 
Made for the Cigar Maker's Union 
No. )9. New Haven, Connecticut 



84. United States; 1901 

Nickel-plated brass, printed celluloid 

Souvenit of the Pan-American Exposition, Buffalo, New York; 

made tor the United Hatters ot North America 



Coshocton Specialty Co., Gishocton, Ohio; early 20th century 

Nickel-plated brass, printed celluloid 

Made for the Cigar Maker's International Union ot America 



Sh The Whitehead and Hoag Co. , 
Newark, New Jersey; early 20th 
century 

Nickel-plated brass, printed celluloid 
Made tor the International L'nion ot 
the L'nited Brewery Workmen of 
America, Cincinnati. Ohio 






4 



h& S.W.RJJ9 
IgffO 

WAT^JtLOO 

(SPECUW TRAIN) 

FIRST" CLASS 

No Particular class ol 
Carriage Guaranteed 

L.4.S W.R L894 

WATERLOO 

(S.1> TO (TO) 

ASCOT 

(SPECIAL TRAIN) 
£0.15.0 

FIRST CLASS J 

BHHD 







. Frank M. Whiting Co., North 
Attleboro, Massachusetts; c. 1892 
Sterling silver 

Made for the World's Columbian 
Exposition, Chicago, 1892 

Probably Germany; about 1927 
Ivory 



. London, England; 1893-94 
Silver, enamel 



89. The Whitehead and Hoag Co. , 
Newark, New Jersey; 1901 
Nickel-plated base metal, printed 
celluloid 92. Possibly Germany; early 20th century 

Made for the Pan-American Exposi- White metal, enamel 
tion, Buffalo, New York, 1901 

90. Gorham Corp. , United States; about 1900 
Silver, enamel 
Inscribed: "From J.L. Steiner to his friend Wm. B. Birge, Paris, 1900" 



93. Scotland; late 19th century 
Printed paper, wood, ivory 
"Tartan ware," "Stuart" clan 

94. England; late 19th century 
Wood mosaic on wood 
"Tunbridge Wells ware" 







"The Centennial Match 
1776- 1876" was a commemora- 
tive safe sold in New York by 
Hill & Cooke, but produced 
under patent by Bryant & May 
in London, major producers of 
matches and matchsafes. 
There is a "Remember the 
Maine" matchsafe and one 
commemorating the Battle of 
Khartoum in 1885. A rather 
odd assortment of notables 
was honored by portrait 
boxes, among them Chris- 
topher Columbus, Queen 
Victoria, Ulysses S. Grant, 
"Bonnie Prince Charlie" (on 
tartan boxes), Dr. David 
Livingstone, Bismarck, 
Daniel Boone, Napoleon 111, 
Graver Cleveland, and the 



philanthropist George Pea- 
body. 




9( England; about 1900 
Silver-plated base metal 



97. England; about 1900 
Silver-plated base metal 



99. England; about 1900 
Base metal 



9ft. United States; patented October 
25, 1892 
Nickel-plated brass 



98. United States; late 19th century 
Nickel-plated brass 



England; about 1900 
Base metal 









Souvenirs of places range from 
matchsafes showing a scene in 
Weston-super-Mare, England 
to Treasury Street in St. Au- 
gustine, Florida. The arms of 
various British towns and 
cities, including Belfast, Wor- 
cester, Peebles, Exeter, Derby, 
and Dublin appear on various 
matchsafes. A number of 
these souvenir matchsafes are 
of special interest today when 
photographic history is an im- 
portant subject, as they con- 
tain actual photographs either 
set in the lids of the match- 
safes or transferred to them. 
Notable examples in the 
Brener Collection are photo- 
graphs of the Green Dragon 
Hotel, Sheffield, England, 
and "Ye Olde Freemasons, 



Hastings," England. Among 
other photographic items is a 
rare portrait of one W. Miller 
dated 1876. 




■ United States; about 1900 
Printed wood 
Illustrates Treasury Street, 
St. Augustine, Florida 



102. Bryant and May, London; 1893 ioj. United States; about 1876 

Printed tin Brass, tintype image 

Illustrates the Agricultural Building, 

Chicago World's Fair, 1893 „ , 

104. Germany; about 1900 

Silver, enamel 







Japanese art and manufacture 
greatly influenced advanced 
European and American de- 
sign during the late 19th cen- 
tury, and the Brener Collec- 
tion contains a variety of 
matchsafes produced in Japan. 
These include some charming 
animals such as a cat shown 
playing a samisen, rahhits, 
monkeys, and lions (some- 
times shown with a rabbit). 
These are all metalwork but 
the collection also contains 
many rare examples of 
Chinese silver matchsafes and 
one mild matchsate made for 
the export market. 



C31 






. Japan; about 1900 
Silver.enamei 



. Japan; late 19th century 
Brass 



108. Japan; late 19th century 
Patinated copper, gilding 



. Japan; late 19th century 
Patinated copper, gilding 



107., 109., in. Japan; late 19th century 

Shakudo, gold jogan (inlay) 



-▼▼▼▼▼TT 







JSSSBBSSm 




. Probably Europe; late 19th century 
Silver-gilt, enamel (simulated 
cloisonne) 

. Japan; late 19th century 
Cloisonne enamel, silver 



14. T.K. , Russia; about 1900 
Silver-gilt, cloisonne enamel 



16. Possibly England; late igth-early 20th 118. Possibly India; late igth-early 20th 
century century 

Wood Wood 

i;. Russia; late 19th century 

Silver-gilt, basse taille enamel, topaz 1 17. M. & S. , Austria-Hungary; late 19th 1 19. L. Du Bois, France; 19th century 

century Silver and black enamel , gold mono- 

Silver, niello gram shield 






Even at the time, trick cases 
and matchsafes produced in 
bizarre shapes aroused some 
criticisms. In 1894, the British 
writer Jerome K. Jerome pro- 
tested matchsafes in the form 
of hunting horns, trick cases, 
and a case he was offered with 
a whistle in one end; he wrote 
indignantly of "the attempt of 
inventors to disguise articles 
of everyday use in some 
ridiculous form." 

Matchsafes could cost very lit- 
tle or they could he articles of 
great luxury and expense. In 
1897, the Sears Roebuck 
catalogue offered matchsafes 
made of "fine nickel" in vary- 
ing grades at 10, 14, and 2c 
cents. By 1922, they cost 48 or 



50 cents (but by then a 
gasoline or alcohol lighter was 
available for only 19 cents). 
Other firms offered matchsafes 
in the period before the First 
World War, when prices were 
very stable, at around a dollar. 
Specially commissioned 
matchsafes or those by famous 
makers cost many times those 
amounts, and the Brener Col- 
lection is rich in such fine 
work. A gold Australian 
matchsafe is decorated with a 
kangaroo and an emu in relief. 
Other matchsafes are exe- 
cuted in hardstones, espe- 
cially agate and nephrite. 




j18B33ae<S5 



S& 



^ 






!o. Europe; early ;oth century 
Silver, enamel 



121. England; about 1900 
Silver-plated base metal 

122. Japan; early ;oth century 
Brass 



jj. Possibly Italy; late igth-early 
20th century 
Moss agate, base metal 



1 if. M. Janest (?). Paris, France; late 19th 
century 

Burled wood, gold, white enamel, 
brilliants 



1 14 flu.w m. France; about 1900 
Gold, basse taille enamel 











1 26. Germany; late 19th century 
Wood, stone, mother-of-pearl 

127. Japan; late 19th century 
Patinated brass 



Probably China; late 19th century 
White metal, enamel simulating 
champleve work 



129. J. C. and Sons, Birmingham, 
England; 1908-09 

Silver, champleve enamel 
Inscribed: "Regards from Jock 
McKay" 

130. Japan; late 19th century 
Brass 



31. S.A. Ltd., Birmingham, England; 
1904-05 

Silver, champleve enamel 
Inscribed: "To Fred Finch from 
Emmelyn Walter in Remembrance of 
a Happy Week at Aston Hipp: Mar. 
18th, .918" 

j2. Italy; early 20th century 
Gilt-metal filigree 




II IT 




A series of tine matchsafes of 
Norwegian and Russian origin 
are of cloisonne enamel in 
which different colors are dis- 
tinctly shown in a metal net- 
work. Several ot the Russian 
boxes are from the workshops 
ot the great jeweler Carl 
Faberge. Fine work in enamel 
was also produced by French, 
British, and Viennese 
craftsmen. Niello (a black 
substance inlaid in silver) of 
French and English origin ac- 
counts for several unusually 
decorative matchsafes, and 
there are several examples in 
pique work (tortoiseshell in- 
laid with silver and gold). 
Hundreds of boxes are 
hallmarked British silver, 
some with enamel emblems 



on the lids, and a few are 
worked in gold. 

Many matchsafes in the 
Brener Collection have not 
yet been identified by de- 
signer, manufacturer, or place 
of origin, and the dates of 
many examples have to be es- 
tablished. The history of de- 
sign is best pursued by the 
close study and comparison of 
numerous examples. Match- 
safes, typical products of the 
Victorian-Edwardian period, 



afford an opportunity for 
studying the design of every- 
day objects. The Brener Col- 
lection's extraordinary size 
and range assure that it will be 
of perpetual interest and de- 
light. 



Jerry E. Patterson 




Possibly Eastern Europe; about 1900 1 )+■ United States; early !oth century 
Silver, basse taille and painted enamel Silver, cloisonne enamel 



Probably Continental, hallmarked i)t>. Gorham Corp.. United States; 
Birmingham, England; 1902-0) Silver, enamel 

Silver, basse taille and painted enamel 

137 Tiffany and Co., New York; 

about 1900 

Silver, niello, copper inlay 









Probably England; late 19th century 
Porcelain, enamel decoration 



60200] 




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